Greek civil servants lose holiday perks for computer use

Playing Home Computer Game on Commodore Amiga 1 December 1989
Image caption Greek Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the annual leave perk belonged to another era

The Greek authorities have scrapped six days of extra holiday awarded to civil servants for using computers, as part of its austerity drive.

The privilege was granted in 1989 to all who worked on a computer for more than five hours a day.

However, Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, speaking on Greek TV, said the custom "belonged to another era",

The decision comes as part of the government's reform of the public sector in a bid to meet bailout terms.

Greece received two bailouts from the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) totalling about 240bn euros (£200bn; $318bn) on the condition that the government imposes cuts and implements restructuring.

The working hours saved by scrapping the computer leave would be the equivalent of an extra 5,000 employees, Mr Mitsotakis told Skai TV on Thursday.

He described it as "small, yet symbolic" step in modernising an outdated civil service. Mr Mitsotakis is the man in charge of overhauling public institutions.

Other perks that have already been scrapped include a bonus for showing up to work and passing on a dead father's pension to his unmarried daughters.

In July, the Greek parliament approved plans to reform the public sector, placing up to 25,000 public sector workers into a mobility pool by the end of the year, when they will either face redeployment or redundancy.

The Greek economy has shrunk further than any other in Europe, with an unemployment rate of 27%.